BBC commentary on Swiss Railway Ticketing


Krist van Besien
 

On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 6:55 AM, Bill Bolton <billbolton.email@gmail.com> wrote:
So, if they are "professional" fare evaders, it should be quite simple
to identify them and treat them appropriately given all the technology
that it is asserted a SBB conductor has access to..... instead of
penalising ordinary citizens in the ways detailed by numrous posters
here already.
And how should this be done, in your opinion? SBB conductors don't
have lie detectors on them.

I don't think many ordinary citizens are being unjustly punished here.
The stories I have heard so far seem to mostly fall in the category of
passengers being sloppy in the assumption they could get away with it
if they tell a good story. Afterwards this story is then repeated to
the press in a way that makes it appear the the passenger is
completely innocent...

Always be very sceptical of what you read in the newspaper or hear on
TV. I have in my life been witness to several events that made it in
to the media, and never have I seen a reporter getting all the facts
right. Never.
So I doubt there are many instances of "innocent people" being penalised.

Krist


--
krist.vanbesien@gmail.com
krist@vanbesien.org
Bern, Switzerland


Krist van Besien
 

On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 8:47 PM, Guerbetaler <muesche2-swissrail@yahoo.de> wrote:
Am 07.02.2013 20:17, schrieb Andrew Moglestue:
Can you board the Postauto in, say, Beromünster, and ask the driver
to sell you a ticket to Saas Fee?
The standard answer is yes. The special answer might be, that the
"Tarifverbund" in Beromüster has defined restricted possibilities.
AFAIK the "national tariff" covers all permanent settlements. I have
travelled quite regularly on tickets that included both bus and train
parts.
Buying an online or mobile ticket from Beromünster to Saas Fee is
certainly possible.

But the difference between regional zone based tariffs and the
national tariff is indeed confusing at times, which is why it is going
to disappear. There is a new national tariff on the way that will
replace both the existing national and regional tariffs.

The old style ticket machines that many stations used to have would
only sell tickets to a limited number of destinations. (you can only
put so many buttons on 0.5 m2). I once boarded in Thalbrücke, with
destination Chur, and could only buy a ticket to Zürich. I explained
that in the train to the conductor and got a "streckenwechsel" (route
change) without much ado. I suppose that this would still be possible,
as the new conditions explicitely mention that possibility.

Krist
--
krist.vanbesien@gmail.com
krist@vanbesien.org
Bern, Switzerland


Andy Micklethwaite
 

Switzerland (without border checks - unlike Eurostar!) has entered the modern world.
<http://travelblog.dailymail.co.uk/2013/01/blog-thefts-can-happen-anywhere-even-on-swiss-trains.html>
Regaining a reputation is much harder than losing it.
Andy.


glenn allen
 

From: Andy Micklethwaite
Switzerland (without border checks - unlike Eurostar!) has entered
the modern world.
<http://travelblog.dailymail.co.uk/2013/01/blog-thefts-can-happen-anywhere-even-on-swiss-trains.html>
Regaining a reputation is much harder than losing it.
Something from the bottom of the article :

The Swiss ticket inspectors took pity on Chris and didn't charge him for
his return train to Bern when he explained his situation. But he is now
all too aware that, however sad it is, we really do now need to be
every bit as vigilant on Swiss trains as we are on our own or any other
rail network in the world.

Hmm, how come he didn't get fined? ;-)

And, nice picture at the top, not in keeping with the article, that's an RhB train at Morterasch heading for St Moritz.

I remember reading a story about chance thieves over at Zweisimmen, or nearby, would watch tourists get on a train, see them get off to take a photo, and would nip on to steal their luggage. I don't think crime is a new thing in Switzerland.


tudor erich
 

Thank you,
 
Bernard


Heléna Moretti
 

On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 3:28 PM, Heléna Moretti

helena.moretti@btinternet.com> wrote:
"As for the debate on the strict application of the new penalty fares for Swiss transport users, to place such a rule in the hands of mere mortals is a little unfair of the authorities. They ask their inspectors to judge a stranger or hide behind a rule book when it is plain to see what the easiest course of action is. The aim is to stop fare dodgers and save taxes, the principle that results is that you (as a passenger) are totally responsible for ensuring you have a valid ticket and all the supporting documents you need before you step on a train. The result of strict adherence to the rule and its principles are you alienate many to punish the few".
Krist replied:
"I don't understand what you are getting at with the above paragraph. I think it is very fair to the conductors that they are no longer required to make difficult judgement calls, and can just apply the
rules. Let customers service debate with the passengers. I doubt that the strickt application will alienate many, as people are quite used to having tickets before boarding the train. The rule already existed for local trains".
My point is:...
To explain my point I return to the old couple who I believe were badly treated... for many years it has not been compulsory to take your passport with a Swiss Pass, if it was, it was never enforced. Only recently have ticket staff begun to ask to see them. This old couple had been to Switzerland many times over many years, but not since the introduction of this check. The purpose/aim of the check is to stop the passes being handed between different people, they are "not negotiable", only one person (the one named on the ticket) can use it. The principle is that to ensure this, a valid passport should be produced to show the ticket inspector that the pass and the person belong together. Now let us look at two possible responses a ticket inspector could have to finding this old couple, both with correctly dated Swiss Passes but bereft of the passports to go with them.
Inspector K: He says, "Well it is your responsibility to read the regulations, your ticket is not valid without a passport. Penalty Fare and full fare payable, hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in Switzerland, Ker-ching! If you want to claim redress write to customer services, the address is on the internet and its not my fault if you don't use modern technology or understand German".
Inspector R: Ah, you really need to have a passport with you in future for this ticket to be valid. Now do you have any other form of photo identification, ah yes, a driver's licence, I can see the name on ticket matches the one on that license and that the picture is you. Have a wonderful stay in Switzerland and don't forget to bring your passport with you next time.
Now which Inspector has done the best job for SBB? In the short-term, Inspector K took the old English pair to the cleaners for a CHF350, I bet he felt good. Inspector R however has probably ensured that the couple return again, with a potential spend not just of CHF 500 for their passes but also a similar sum in food, twice that in accommodation and more rosy tales of friendly staff amongst the stunning Alpine scenery. These two scenarios reflect the reality of that day, the second scenario was close to that of the guard who checked our tickets as we left Locarno, he accepted alternative documents without problem. The first scenario matched closely the attitude of the guard who checked the tickets as we pulled out of Luzern. 
That, was my point.
The aim of ensuring the ticket belonged to the person named on the ticket was satisfied in scenario R, the policy of Italian hotels (& some in the Ticino of CH) who retain passports overnight is as much an issue as the intransigence of the SBB ticket Inspector.
Regards
Helena







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tudor erich
 

We have known for many years that you should have your passport available at all times when travelling on a Swiss Pass. Several times we have had the full performance of ticket, check the second part, passport, where are you going etc.
 
Never occurred to us not to play by the stated rules.
 
Mind you, given the usual very cursory check of the ticket, often not even looking at it, I have often wondered if proferring a Swiss Pass from a previous trip would satisfy most conductors...
 
Bernard


Bill Bolton
 

On Fri, 8 Feb 2013 09:13:35 +0100, Krist wrote:

And how should this be done, in your opinion? SBB conductors don't
have lie detectors on them.
You claimed "there are professional fare evaders" as a justification
for the new SBB behaviour.

"Professional" (whether 'professionell', 'fachmännisch' or
'notorisch') implies they are doing it constantly - you don't need a
lie detector to identify *constant evaders* and there are a whole host
of simple processes and technologies that can be applied, *as the
police do regularly* with respect to misdemeanours.

I don't think many ordinary citizens are being unjustly punished here.
It's clear what your strongly-held-belief is, but it also clear from
looking at a number of Swiss community forums that a lot of "ordinary
citizens" (who are trying to hard to abide by the rules) are now being
fined in circumstances beyond their reasonable control.

It's also clear from looking at travel forums that a tourists are
starting to become alienated towards Switzerland through this, as they
think they have followed the directions of SBB adequately (as implied
through web sites and the behaviour of automated ticketing systems,
etc) but are none-the-less being fined by SBB.

Always be very sceptical of what you read in the newspaper or hear on
TV.
Or read recently in community forums, or what good friends recently
tell you etc etc.

The stories that are being related are too pervasive and consistent in
nature to be flicked away with cliches and faux rationalisations ("if
they tell a good story"). <rolls eyes>

Bill Bolton
Sydney, Australia


bs177@...
 

--- In SwissRail@yahoogroups.com, tudoryork wrote:

We have known for many years that you should have your passport available at all times when travelling on a Swiss Pass.
Whilst I understand the reasons behind Helena's spirited defence of the two OAP's, I quote from the rear of the map supplied with my Swiss Pass for 2002 "Dear passenger................ Please sign your ticket and present it to the conductor with your passport".

Where I would agree with both Helena and Markus is that the way such situations should be handled needs to be formalised and designed to avoid the PR failures we have heard about.

Firstly (and there is plenty of room on the back of the map - and I am referring to a 2002 map - the 2013 one might be different) it should be stated that the ticket is not valid without the passport, and should state clearly what the penalties are for not having a passport with you.

Secondly, it would seem sensible to adopt the same procedure as with the forgotten GA, if the passenger presents the passport at any ticket office with the excess tickets and the Swiss Pass, the excess fare will be refunded less CHf 5.

Perhaps those with contacts within SBB might suggest this when the map is next reprinted.

Cheers

bruce


Krist van Besien
 

On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 6:56 PM, Heléna Moretti
<helena.moretti@btinternet.com> wrote:

Inspector R: Ah, you really need to have a passport with you in future for this ticket to be valid. Now do you have any other form of photo identification, ah yes, a driver's licence, I can see the name on ticket matches the one on that license and that the picture is you. Have a wonderful stay in Switzerland and don't forget to bring your passport with you next time.
Now which Inspector has done the best job for SBB? In the short-term, Inspector K took the old English pair to the cleaners for a CHF350, I bet he felt good.
I don't think he felt good. SBB conductors aren't like that.


Inspector R however has probably ensured that the couple return again, with a potential spend not just of CHF 500 for their passes but also a similar sum in food, twice that in accommodation and more rosy tales of friendly staff amongst the stunning Alpine scenery. These two scenarios reflect the reality of that day, the second scenario was close to that of the guard who checked our tickets as we left Locarno, he accepted alternative documents without problem. The first scenario matched closely the attitude of the guard who checked the tickets as we pulled out of Luzern.

So in the case of the guard when you pulled out of Luzern you offered
alternative documents, and they were not accepted? What were they?
Because I don't think that passports are a requirement to get a Swiss
Pass. Otherwise people without passports couldn't get them. But a
proper photo ID probably is.

Krist

--
krist.vanbesien@gmail.com
krist@vanbesien.org
Bern, Switzerland


csipromo
 

--- In SwissRail@yahoogroups.com, Bill Bolton wrote:

You claimed "there are professional fare evaders" as a justification
for the new SBB behaviour.
I remember being on an IC2000 train (double deck) in 2003 when I spotted two SBB Police Inspectors who seemed intent on catching some fare evaders. The inspectors would go from coach to coach and there were a bunch of youths who would evade them by going to the lower level and when the inspectors went down, they would go back up on the other side of the coach and move to the next coach.
I was very curious why the SBB inspectors did not simply split up and each go down at opposing ends of the coach, or why, if they were not supposed to split up, were only one pair assigned to complete this task, which would have required at least an additional pair of officers in that case.

So, it may be a case of "professional" fare evaders, but I have also seen some rather "keystone cop" behaviour on the part of the inspectors. Do the new rules improve this situation on the train today? If they are still chasing the fare evaders like that most of the day, I doubt it.

Regards

Mike C


markyboyellis <markyboyellis@...>
 

--- In SwissRail@yahoogroups.com, glenn allen wrote:
I remember reading a story about chance thieves over at Zweisimmen,
or nearby, would watch tourists get on a train, see them get off to
take a photo, and would nip on to steal their luggage. I don't think
crime is a new thing in Switzerland.
Like all other countries I'm sure Switzerland has it's share of criminals but from personal experience I would say that it's highly probable that those stealing luggage are not of Swiss origin.In 2004 I lost a bag to thieves while in the Coop restaurant in Luzern.the bag was half under a table and virtually touching my left foot. I was tired and not very observant but my wife said that a group of Eastern European men had been watching people presumably looking for somebody off guard.I went to look for them as the bag had been missing less than two minutes but I had no luck. When reporting it to the police there were a considerable number of other people reporting losses.Whilst this is not much help to people losing luggage I'm merely pointing out that visitors to Switzerland could be to blame and that vigilance is very important. To the thieves, tourists stick out like aore thumb.
Mark Ellis